Smoking rate has plummeted in New York City

Jun 21, 2007

New York City’s smoking rate has plummeted since a comprehensive program against smoking was launched in 2002, according to findings issued today in the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The 2006 rate was nearly 20% lower than the 2002 rate -- a decline that represents 240,000 fewer smokers. The City’s rate for 2006 is the lowest on record (17.5%), and lower than all but five U.S. states (California, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Connecticut). Over the past year, smoking decreased among men (from 22.5% to 19.9%) and among Hispanics (from 20.2% to 17.1%). These large declines followed a year-long ad campaign aimed at prompting more smokers to quit. The new report is available online at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/ .

Beginning in 2002, and after a decade with no progress, New York City increased the tobacco tax, eliminated smoking in virtually all workplaces, and launched hard-hitting anti-tobacco ads. By all indications, the interventions have made a difference. “Hard-hitting ads work,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden -- “especially when they’re paired with a tobacco tax and smoke-free air legislation. With nearly a quarter of a million fewer smokers, New York City is leading the way on tobacco control. There aren’t many programs that can prevent 80,000 premature deaths this quickly.”

Ads from the 2006 campaign graphically depicted tobacco smoke’s effects on the brain, lungs and arteries, showing testimonials from sick and dying smokers and their children, including former smoker Ronaldo Martinez, who now breaths through a hole in his throat as a result of smoking-related cancer. In a separate recent survey, nine out of 10 smokers said they saw the ads -- and half of smokers said the ads made them want to quit.

Highlights in Smoking Declines Since 2002

-- The smoking rate fell faster among women (23% decline) than among men (15% decline).

-- Rates among young adults (ages 18-24) have declined twice as much as rates among other adult age groups

-- Among all ethnic groups, Asian New Yorkers have made the most progress, with a 30% decline in the smoking rates, though Asian males still smoke at a rate of 16.4%

-- Smoking rates on Staten Island have declined by only 0.4% since 2002, while the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens have seen declines of more than 20%

“In spite of great progress, we have much farther to go, said Dr. Frieden. “More than 1 million New Yorkers are still smoking, and nearly 9,000 are dying from smoking-related disease every year. Because of inflation, the real price of cigarettes has declined by more than 60 cents since the last increase of the tobacco tax in New York in 2002; the time is right for another increase in the cigarette tax.”

Source: New York City Health Department

Explore further: Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Guns aren't the only things killing cops

15 hours ago

The public does not realize—in fact, police themselves may not realize—that the dangers police officers are exposed to on a daily basis are far worse than anything on "Law and Order."

Online data brokers know you surprisingly well

Sep 11, 2013

I'm a middle-aged guy who lives in a house that was built more than 50 years ago. I'm married, have a white-collar job and sometimes read financial newsletters for fun.

Scientist takes first step to measure chromium contamination

Apr 29, 2013

Judy Zelikoff is filling an unwanted role. Three decades after hexavalent chromium spread under a Garfield, N.J., neighborhood, this accomplished scientist and her team of researchers at New York University may finally be ...

Breathless in the Megacity

Sep 23, 2011

Megacities offer the enticing prospect of employment and the benefits of an urban infrastructure – but they also expose their inhabitants to high levels of air pollution. Together with an Indian Partner ...

Recommended for you

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

4 hours ago

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Internists favor public policy to reduce gun violence

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Most internists believe that firearm-related violence is a public health issue and favor policy initiatives aimed at reducing it, according to research published online April 10 in the Annals of ...

iPLEDGE isotretinoin counseling may need updating

11 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The iPLEDGE program needs to provide women with information about more contraceptive choices, including reversible contraceptives, according to research published in the April issue of JAMA De ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.